Modupe Ogunyemi is the Head, Digital & Mobile Marketing at Konga Online Shopping Ltd, more that this she was my Boss, loveable, kind-hearted and friendly. Most of her write-up on LinkedIn are always thought-provoking I read this and I thought it’s worth sharing on my blog. I never knew my former boss was such an astute writer until i started seeing her posts on LinkedIn. Well, I want you to enjoy the piece.
Many people will look at this title and think I’m about to talk about how to stack the naira till it hits the ceiling. You like money too much, hehehe. Sorry to disappoint y’all but true wealth is not how much money you have in the bank. Your wealth is your network: it’s the number of and quality of people you can pick up your phone and call, who will respond to you favourably.
Don’t get me wrong money is important o! Infact you can’t love money as much as I do. I have strong Ijebu genes, I like money die :-). But the amount of money you can make on your own is infinitesimally small compared with what you can make if you leverage a value –adding network of people in your life. Nobody makes it to the top alone. Have you noticed how the richest people in the world all have a friendly relationship with themselves? Bill Gates is a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett is a mentor to Bill Gates. Get the drift?
As you no dey Yankee, how you want take meet Bill Gates? Hehehe, there are numerous self-made, successful people in Nigeria too who are doing big things. Many of them started out in corporate Nigeria. Many are still in corporate Nigeria. You don’t know them because they don’t make noise. But some people know them because some worked with them, schooled with them, go to church/ mosque with them etc.
Your career offers you the greatest opportunity to build your personal network of contacts. Each job you do, every company you work in brings you in touch with new people. You meet these people as colleagues, vendors, agencies, bosses, customers and so on. How you relate with them will determine if they will greet you if they see you in 20 years time.
If you’re an ‘ass’ that they are just tolerating because they need you or your position to get their job done, best believe they will pass you on the road and not greet you once you leave that position.
A few things to note as you climb the corporate ladder:
“Mind your character” may sound cunning but it is absolutely true. Niceness doesn’t cost you anything and you should give it to everyone you come across. Don’t be nice to people because there’s something you might get in return, ehen, that one is eye service. Be nice whether or not the person is useful to you. Be nice for the sake of niceness.
It is very easy to become pompous once success starts to roll in. Pride is like slow poison; it will eventually kill the organism it feasts on. Always remember that everyone is gifted in his or her own way. You are not more or less talented than the next person. The only difference between a junior professional and a senior professional is the years of experience. The skillset is essentially the same. While that experience is priceless, remember that in 20 years time, that newbie will be seasoned too. And him or her will remember your contribution to his knowledge or the lack of it.
In 20 years time, none of your colleagues will remember what you wore today or what you said in the meeting but they will remember how you made them feel. They will remember if you were trustworthy or a snitch. They will remember if you were reliable or they had to always document their interactions with you in an email. They will remember if you stood up for them or you stabbed them in the back. Do you get the drift?
There’s enough room at the top for everyone who makes the effort to get there. You don’t have to pull others down to achieve your goals. Help people on the job when they need help. There will be times when the one needing help will be you. Be the one who covers for others, not the one who backbites them. It is tempting to ride roughshod over people in the course of doing your job especially if you work in a performance driven organisation. It is very possible to be so focused on meeting your KPIs that you do not care whose ox is gored along your path. But remember, 20 years from now, you will most likely not be at that desk and only God knows where that colleague whose blood you shed will be. Tables turn all the time, and if it does, how will you look that colleague in his or her face?
Let’s do a quick mental check: how many places have you worked in? How many people have you met along the way? How many of those people can you call to give your son/ daughter (imaginary if you don’t have kids yet) an internship opportunity today? Be honest with yourself. If it’s a good percentage, then you’re building a very valuable network. If it’s not…..oh well, your pikin go dey alright 🙂
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